2019-05-16 - Frozen Interrogations


Hod has questions for a murderer, and Jean is curious.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu May 16 01:19:26 2019
Location: RP Room 1

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The call was not normal, because nothing with the Aesir Prince in Exile is /ever/ normal. At least it was unique! Unless you count Harry Potter movies. The owl was silent, silent in a way that frankly is more then a little creepy, and having the first knowledge of it's approach be the unusually quiet beating of wings only a moment before it lands the railing Jean was leaning against at the time, couldn't have been good for anyone's heart. But. There it was. All giant eyed, bigger then one would expect, flexing black talons on the iron and staring at her with unblinking intensity.

It hopped once. Then twice. Closer to her each time, and then it thrust out it's foot and did the hokey pokey. It shook it's leg about. Attached was a scrap of paper, tied with a pale white ribbon. Shake. Hop. Shake. Hop. The instant she removed the missive, the owl hopped away a bit and then did that weird head spinning thing that just looks like it should hurt. The paper had a distinctly Nordic runic circle drawn upon it with a firm hand, a circle with a series of intersecting lines running through the center, each looking a bit like a pitch fork pointed back out towards the edges.

Clearly it was also not helpful in terms of conveying a message. A Google search shows the symbol is a Norse mystical compass, one that supposedly ensured the user was never lost. Some digging said it was shared by two gods, the god of the sea, and another unnamed being. The owl, hopping again, hooted at Jean. Then flapped it's wings twice and took flight into the evening air, leaving her to choose whether or not to follow it.

Honestly, Jean is running out of things to be surprised about at this point. Besides, she was out on the balcony at the pub already because she'd had enough of of the crowd and the people. And so far, the Norse she knows are…well, either Hod or less difficult than Hod seems to think they are.

So once she knows that's what she's looking at, she follows the owl out into the street, keeping the piece of paper with the rune in her hand.

The owl, most likely due to being an owl, doesn't fuck around when it comes to locomotion. Once in the air it climbs and quickly begins to disappear into the night sky, a master of stealth even in the city. It is not the sort of creature she can follow on foot, nor does it seem to care for any attempt of hers to remain that way. Owl gives no fucks. Owl is owl. Hoot.

It only takes a few minutes to get from the pub to the condominium high rise, and if anything the flight is peaceful and quite pretty. The city at night really is something to see whenever one gets the chance. It circles the rooftop of the building twice, hooting once, and then banking away towards other buildings. It's wings tuck and it simply vanishes from sight without a whisper of noise, leaving no doubt that had it wished to lose Jean, it clearly would have. Owl is owl. Fear owl, mighty hunter.

Below the rooftop garden is shockingly nice, or perhaps not so shocking given that it's a rooftop garden on a tall building in downtown. The grass is manicured, the trees are all clipped into pretty shapes, the pagodas are well maintained and covered in heavy flowering vines of some kind scenting the air heavily with the aroma of honey and warm southern nights. In the center of this idealic little patch of heaven is a man apparently well and truely chained to the ground. An iron collar around his neck, his wrists are shackled, his ankles, his knees, all of which are connected to anchor points in the soil somehow with heavy linked chains, the ends of which disappear into the carefully trimmed grass. He also appears to only be wearing pants.

When Jean gets close enough she'll recognize him, the man from Hod's vision. The one she had the picture made for.

Jean is not dressed for this sort of thing! But luckily, she can cover her tracks fairly well. Once she's put out the idea that there's nothing to see here, she rises up into the air to follow the owl to its destination. When she sees the garden and the owl disappears, she lands gently in the grass, putting her hands into the pocket of her brown leather jacket. She's dressed for a night on the town: emerald green romper, cropped jacket, ankle boots. This was not the plan.

She's also not quite ready to trust everything, given the surprises she's run into lately. So she stays behind the prisoner, brow arching as she walks a careful circle along the grass in search of a more familiar face.

"Don't worry, he can't see your face." comes Hod's voice from the darkness, which is way creepier then the owl. At least /it/ was cute. The shadows sort of peel away to unveil him, standing in front of the prisoner, his hands resting lightly atop one another on the head of his cane, glasses opaque with reflected light as he appears to stare in the chained man's direction. "This is Kormir. I just paid the agent that fetched him for me, so you're here in time for the uh… questioning." Hod waves a hand and a cold wind gusts into the half naked man, his skin taking on suddenly faint shades of blue as if he were going into hypothermia. "He's Jotun. Partly at least."

Jean nods slowly, though she keeps a brow arched as she looks to Hod. For all the effect it has. "I see," she says slowly. "And…you thought it might help if someone could tell you if he was lying?"

She walks to one side, getting a closer look. "Part jotun. Those are the…ice giants, right? What's the other part?" She's learned to check these things before she goes brain-spelunking.

Hod shrugs, "No way for me to tell. The Jotuns and I are… not kin exactly, but linked in certain ways. We share an affinity." He extends the cane so that the tip of it is under the man's chin, and he lifts his head with it, tilting it upwards as if Hod wanted to see his features, "Hello Kormir, do you know who I am?" the man's eyes are hidden away behind an iron band, which as far as blindfolds go seems a bit overkill. Hod's demeanor is not the usually cheery one Jean's used to. Sure. He's grumpy gus a lot of the time, but it's a jovial old grumpy man sort of air, a lot of it jest and snark. This is not that.

"Sure. Cold." Jean stays off to the side, watching Hod as much as she watches the prisoner. This is new. But then, she's been more than adequately warned about who Hod is. This guy is another matter, though.

Cautiously, she lowers her shields a bit, letting herself start to soak in some of the ambient thoughts and emotions.

Afraid. The man is afraid. Of the Aesir, the Vanir, the Elves of both races, the Dwarves, and the Jotuns, there are lots of monsters. But the Aesir only produced one so bad they banished him to Midgard without the protection of his people. Others came for him for a time. None came back. There are… stories. Lots of them. Thor and Odin are the Aesir most reviled, enemies of the highest calibre, foes to be vanquished. Hod is a bedtime story, about the Aesir who know not the chill of cold, can command the ice, walks in darkness and through paths none can see. Odin and Thor are hated. Hod and Hela are feared. It's a fine line, but it's important and useful.

Hod's mind on the other hand is … careful. He gives of waves of barely restrained rage, except that's all an act. His /actual/ state, beyond the show he's putting on, is far from confident. She can see flashes of the fates of the Jotuns that came for him on Midgard. Most were killed by others, some fell to clever traps or accidents Hod arrainged. Some just chose to stay and never return, living among the mortals as he did. Hod /very/ rarely actually fought any of them, and those he did nearly killed him. As is usually the case one thought echos in the back of his mind.

I am not what I once was.

The man nods once. Hod can feel the motion through the cane still tucked beneath the man's chin, and he sighs at the idiocy of the action. "You're going to tell me everything I want to know, and she is going to verify what you say is the truth. Believe me when I tell you that you cannot lie to my guest and you do not /want/ to lie to me." It's a good act. Very intimidating if you couldn't see behind the curtain.

Jean knows a thing or two about using your strengths. For all her mind can do, she's not exactly the most physically imposing person in a fight. Hod may sense a slight bolstering as she picks up on his doubts. Kormir, on the other hand…

He's already creeped out. He can't see. No harm in giving it a little nudge. And that's all it is, really. Just that lingering sense of being loomed over, creeping up in the back of his mind.

The Jotun, of half as the case may be, shifts slightly in his bonds, the chains clinking metalicly. He doesn't speak however, and the butt end of Hod's spear hits the concrete of the patio with a cracking sound that seems to echo louder then it should have. "I am not patient." he hisses through his teeth, knuckles white on the haft of the weapon. The Jotun shifts again, this time it seems more nervous then readjusting. "What do you wish to know?" the man's voice is deep, exceptionally so, a rumble from somewhere in a chest that should be larger then the one he clearly possesses.

Jean watches in silence still, though Hod may sense that the air around both him and the Jotun feels…thick. Jean's telekinetic abilities linger in the air, the sense of her pushing her mind into the molecules as she prepares to make use of them as needed.

Hod catches himself before letting out a relieved breath and instead remains silent for a long moment, couching his responce carefully, "What do your masters hope to accomplish?" to Hod this is the most important question, and by opening with it he's hoping to get a telling responce. And it works. Mostly. "Ragnarok." Comes the answer, and Hod's brow knits, "You want… like on /purpose/!?" he asks, his voice raising suddenly. "Fool!" he's slipped into a language Jean doesn't know, one with faint hints of something Nordic to it, gutteral and harsh, especially if one is spitting out the words in a fury.

Jean quirks a brow as Hod swaps out languages, extending her mind just enough to glean surface thoughts and meanings. It's a handy shortcut for those who haven't learned a hundred languages. "There are always idiots who think knocking down the whole world will make things somehow better, Hod," she says in a low tone, eyeing the prisoner.

Hod snarls something that, in Jean's mind, is just ugly. The Jotun grins faintly, "World/s/." he emphasises the last letter clearly. "Asgard protects the realms from the Others, without it's warriors and it's Father, who is left to keep all the other Realms from falling?" he asks the question in a tone that seems more rhetorical then anything else. "Also, I don't speak your filthy tongue." he adds almost as an after thought. Half Jotun likely didn't learn Asgardian at PS 122 or where ever he went. Rough elective that woulda been. Hod swaps back to English.

"You think I would slay my brother? That you and yours are clever enough to work magics upon me great enough to turn me against /him/??" he sounds incredulous, "The unbewitting /arrogance/." The spear impacts the ground with another echoing thud, that one more angry and less for show.


"Who then leads your mad quest for Ragnarok?" he asks, wresting back a wave of rage that threatened to over power him. It's clearly a sore spot.

Jean crosses her arms over her chest, head tilting as she watches the prisoner and looks between him and Hod. All of this scheming is a little bit beyond her, especially in the scale of things, but…

« Isn't Ragnarok just supposed to be a sort of…turning of the wheel, though? Like things end, but they also come back? In a cycle? »

Somewhere in the cosmos, a giant firebird feels a pang of satisfaction at that thought.

Jean gets to enjoy another moment of speaking to her own reflection as the mirrored glasses turn her direction offering that weird sensation that Hod is looking at someone… but not. His gaze just a little off. He turns back to the prisoner and awaits his answer. «Yes, the wheel turns. If Yggdrasil is the axle, Midgard is the hub, but Asgard is the lynchpin that holds the whole thing together. Without it, the Realms fall into chaos, and while yes, Asgard would rebuild… eventually, the intervening millenia would be full of chaos of the cosmic geneocidal variety. Imagine Midgard as the battle ground for every mythical war fought all at once. Ice ages in New York, fire pouring from the earth in Shanghai, the tidal water rising to swallow London, all while beings of immeasureable power surge forth to fill the power vaccum. I don't think you want to wait for Asgard to get it's shit sorted, and most importantly I DONT WANT TO KILL MY BROTHER.» he is uh… VERY adamant on this point. Like whoa.

"The Envoy." Kormir snears, some of his earlier bravado returning slowly, a feeling that he knows things they do not giving him confidence he didn't earlier feel. "A giantess of mystery and Power. She will see Asgard fall," he leans forward in his chains, as far as he can, and grins at Hod widely, wide enough one can hear the smile in his words, "And she HATES you Hodr." he pronounces the name properly. Like… exactly properly. Which is hard for a guy who doesn't speak the language.

"You say that like it's unique," Jean mutters at someone 'hating Hod.' "To hear him tell it, that narrows the field by subtracting about three people from it." She seems non-plussed by Hod's vehemence, giving him a flat look.

« Hod. Deep breaths. He's getting cocky again. »

Helpfully, she slips a field of telekinetic force beneath the prisoner's knees, lifting him off the ground as far as the chains will allow.

Hod snorts at Jean's words, shooting the finger in her general direciton, "The kid's got a point. You don't exactly limit the options. I killed a /lot/ of your kind in the five hundred years I was banging around with the family, and more then a few since then. I'm sure there are a few that hold a grudge." plus Hod seems to collect enemies like they were chibi dolls.

«He's cocky because I think he's starting to realize he doesn't have what we need.» or more importantly what Hod needs. Which is a name. "Speaking of killing Jotuns…" Hod says off handedly just a Jean lifts the man the scant few inches into the air the chains will allow, forcing him to bend back slightly against their pull, a grunt slipping past his lips and the grin flickering off of his face. "You're clearly an idiot and possess almost no power of your own. How could you have pulled this off? Who's helping you?"

Kormir snears again, "I was chosen years ago. My education was long and arduous, one of the few that survived the process. I mastered the mystical arts of Asgard, of the dessert peoples, I have power you scarce can understand cripple." Hod just smirks, "Sure you do. All that jewelery your wearing must just be for show then." he sounds droll.

Bit by bit, Jean narrows the platform of force holding the Jotun up, making it less and less stable. He's only those few inches off the ground, so it's not as though he's in any real danger, but there's no way for him to know that, blindfolded as he is.

As he goes on about his qualifications, she rolls her eyes, moving one hand in a blah blah blah motion.

Kormir wobbles on his little platform, and he jerks back, trying to balance himself hurridly. No one but Jean can see her 'blah blah' motion, which may have exactly been her plan. Easy to get away with. "You've no idea what you face little god." the Jotun quips as he struggles agains the chains and Jean's power at the same time, "The sun will die, and Night will fall. You are all doomed! That you have caught me matters not. Other forces are in motion and your brother's days are numbered tiny one. Make peace with your past, for the future belongs to us!"

Hod is silent for a long moment after that little speal, his body having gone still. When he speaks, he does so quietly but without the doubt Jean's felt from him tonight, "I am Hodr Odinson, the Hidden of the Aesir, son of Freya, Queen of the Vanir. Farsight, Darkeye, Winters Spear, Traveller of the Ways, Wanderer and Prince in Exile." as he speaks the lights on the rooftop flicker and one by one, go out. The blindfold falls from the Jotun's eyes suddenly, it's hinge cracking as frost covers the mechanism to the point it shears away and the peices falls to the garden grass in halves. Kormir blinks rapidly, trying to see Hod, but it's growing increasingly difficult. "I am the god of Winter, of the Hidden Things, and of Darkness… and you think you can threaten me with the death of the sun?" he asks, as the lights dim to the point that it takes Jean a moment to realize that even the city's natural light polution seems to have faded away. The stars, what handful one can see in the city, are blinking out one by one in the sky overhead. It feels not unlike being swallowed by something far larger then oneself. "You think the Night holds any terror for /me/?" he doesn't raise his voice, he doesn't have to. The sounds of the city seem muffled and further away, and when he speaks it's as if he were speaking directly into one's ear. "I am a shadow of my former self," he says as the last light on the rooftop glimmers and dies, leaving everyone atop the roof enclosed in complete and absolute darkness, "but in a world without the sun, what thrives greater then a shadow?" the darkness asks in a whisper all around.

The dark holds little fear for Jean. Her nightmares are all fire and destruction, painful rebirth. The cold, the dark…are a peaceful reprieve. Now is not the time for her to pipe up - her humanity can only lessen the impact of his display. By now, the Jotun's support is like a pair of half-inch dowels beneath his knees.

Kormir whimpers. It's cool, but not cold in the darkness, but the lack of light seems to have a physical weight to it, it's absolute nature oppresive, like a blanket that presses down on ones soul. Genetic, evolutionary, mystical, whatever it is, humanity fears the dark on a very primal level. Night time, rooms without lights, those are all dark, but they're not Dark. This is the later, not the former. Capital D. Like space, without suns. Primordial. The Abyss that Nietzsche was so fond of philosophizing about. And then it's gone. The light and noise and life of the city comes crashing back in like an ocean wave, hammering down over the oppresive silence and solitary nature the darkness offered, to loud and to bright all at once, jarring and uncomfortable.

Hod has a sheen of sweat on his forehead, his breath carefully controlled as he leans on his spear, "Kormir," he says softly as the Jotun wimpers again, having tried to curl in on himself without realizing it, "you're off the edge of the map son. Here there be monsters." sure, it's a line stolen from a movie, but it's a good fucking line, and Hod's not one to waste good material when it's available. "You will confess to the murder of the woman," still he speaks quietly, almost gently, but not it's hard to hear him through the ambient sounds of the city far below, "you will throw yourself upon the mercies of the mortal law enforcement because you /know/ their mercy is far greater then my own." he leans in to Kormir's face, so that his breath can waft cool across the half-giant's face, "If you do not do this before the sun rises. There is no place you can hide from me. No power you can find that will protect you. And then you can beg Hodr Odinson for the mercy he's so very famous for granting." this time it's Hod's words that are spoken with an audible grin.

"I'd take the deal, personally," Jean drawls in a low tone of her own, inspecting her nails. "He's got a surprising knack for getting people to do his dirty work, and there are a lot of creative people around when it comes to dirty work."

Hod moves and the spear arcs in a blur that trails shadows and glinting moonlight, the point coming to rest four inches deep in the cement of the rooftop. Chains tinkle and slowly fall away from Kormir, bits clattering from his neck and waist and ankles and wrists, each falling away in a steely slithering sound until a small pile of them rests beneath him on the grass. "You should hurry." he says into the night air, "The sunrise is right around the corner."

Kormir needs little prodding. He flees. Standing on wobbly legs he begins a mad scramble for the door to the roof and presumably back down to the ground floor.

Jean watches the Jotun go, making sure he's actually leaving, before she turns back to Hod. "So, that was fun. How many giantesses do you have a grudge with? Like, a specific grudge, because that sort of 'end the world to screw with' you thing usually doesn't come from an impersonal encounter."

Kormir is gone in moments, and once the door closes behind him, Hod slide down the spears shaft and flumps onto the ground, breathing heavily and leaning his forehead against the ebon haft of the weapon. He holds up a single shaking finger, silently asking for a minute. He seems to be shaking slightly as if he's just run very far and very fast without stopping. After a few long moments he turns his head a bit so that he's speaking in Jean's direction, "There was a war." he says simply, "There was a lot of death." he adds lamely, "How many sons, husbands, fathers, mothers, daughters, etc did I kill?" he asks, then shrugs, "Five centuries of war kid. You slaughter a lot of stuff." he rests his head on the spear again, "We need to go, before the cops show up and questions are asked. Mind if I bum a ride?" he asks. "I'm not sure I have the juice right now to do my thing."

"Yeah, I've got you." Jean comes over, reaching a hand down for his shoulder then leaning over to take his hand in her other hand to help him up. "Let's go get you some ice cream and figure out where we're headed."

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